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Understanding flooring formats: which is best for you?

Posted on the 23/03/2020 by Karndean Designflooring

You’ve seen how beautiful our floors are, heard why Karndean is the perfect hard wearing floor for busy modern homes and chosen a shortlist of your favourite designs that are sure to create an impact in your home. But you may be unsure whether you should select from our gluedown ranges or if our rigid core or loose lay ranges would suit your needs better. What’s the difference and which should you choose?

We’ve put together this short guide on the formats we offer and how to make the right choice for your home.


Above image features Lime Washed Oak SM-KP99

The classic format - and our most popular - is gluedown. This means that each plank or tile is glued firmly to the floor surface, which must be smooth. Each plank or tile is just 2.5-3.0mm thick and is fitted so that it butts up to the skirting board (it can also be fitted before the skirting boards if preferred) for a seamless finish. Gluedown is our most versatile format and happily lends itself to different laying patterns such as herringbone, basketweave, parquet or geometric patterns.

There is a huge range of designs available from traditional honey oaks to the latest polished concrete, each authentically replicating the natural materials that inspired them, so you can easily find the perfect match for your décor. This also means that there is unlimited possibility to create a bespoke design with a blend of complementary or contrasting designs for a truly unique look that reflects your personality.

Rigid core

Above image features Washed Grey Ash RKP8104

Rigid core is a floating floor with a familiar click-locking mechanism and thick central core that gives stability. The 6.5mm rigid construction makes this format suitable for laying directly over slightly uneven surfaces such as floorboards or existing tiles. Without the need for extensive sub-floor preparation or time for glue to dry, a rigid core floor can be down and ready to walk on in no time.

An ideal alternative to laminate, our Korlok range offers realistic wood designs with a waterproof and hygienic surface that shrugs off splashes and spills without warping or cracking. Not only that, Korlok’s pre-attached acoustic backing means that noise transfer to rooms below is reduced by 21dB, helping you maintain a peaceful home when the kids are playing upstairs.

Loose lay

Above image features Traditional Oak LLP101

A relatively new format to the market, [loose lay]’s innovative construction features a friction grip backing which cleverly secures each plank or tile firmly in place without the need for adhesive. All you need is a sound, smooth and dust free subfloor and your new floor can be laid quickly and easily.

Available in a range of wood and stone designs, our LooseLay range is the ideal choice if you are looking for an easy fit flooring that will reduce noise levels. The construction layers include an acoustic backing that reduces noise transfer by 13dB for a surface that is surprisingly quiet underfoot.

Additionally, as the planks are not glued together, should you need to replace a piece it’s an easy task to lift the plank or tile in question and drop in a new one. It’s also just as easy to take up the flooring and re-use in a different room, making this the perfect choice for renters or home decorators who like to shake things up occasionally.

If you are still unsure which would be the best format for your home, just pop into one of our network of [independent retailers] for plenty of friendly, expert advice. Whichever format you decide on, you can rest assured that any design offers all the benefits of a Karndean floor and comes with a lifetime guarantee.